WORLD OF WARCRAFT PREPS LEGION PRE-PATCH FOR JULY 19

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World of Warcraft’s Legion pre-patch is on the way as promised: on July 19th, to be exact. The patch will include the new transmogrification system as well as numerous changes to classes and talents. Coming later this summer will be the release of the Demon Hunter class and the start of the pre-Legion events.

Speaking of tmog, Blizzard took some time to explain in a blog post how the new wardrobe will function (short version: You’re going to love it). “With the Legion pre-expansion patch, every piece of gear that is bound to your character permanently unlocks that item’s appearance for you.

World of Warcraft outlines February’s events

February's events

There are a lot of holiday events in World of Warcraft this month. February contains the Lunar Festival, Love is in the Air, the Darkmoon Faire… heck, it’s also going to be the month that the next major raid opens up. Luckily for avid World of Warcraft players, the official site has put together a comprehensive schedule of the month’s festivities, starting with the Valentine’s Day event and the new raid opening tomorrow.

Astute readers will note that Blizzard suggests players prepare for patch 6.1 with no hints about when it’s coming out. Whether this means it’s going to be later in the month or won’t be dropping until March remains to be seen. Then again, the raiding crowd will have plenty to do through the month with Blackrock Foundry, and if you like holiday events, you’ve got several of those coming around as well.

Hacker Group Claims Responsibility For World Of Warcraft DDoS Attacks

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The confirmed DDoS attacks on the World of Warcraft servers wreaked havoc for those trying to log in on Warlords of Draenor launch day, and the hacker group calling themselves DerpTrolling has claimed responsibility. This group also claims to have hacked into other gaming sites, saying that it’s captured passwords and logins for PlayStation Network and 2K, for example.

The group released a statement on CNET expounding on its claims.

“We have 800,000 from 2K and 500,000 credit card data. In all of our raids we have a total of around 7 million usernames and passwords,” a statement reported by CNET reads. “We have around 2 million Comcast accounts, 620,000 Twitter accounts, 1.2 million credentials belonging to the CIA domain, 200,000 Windows Live accounts, 3 million Facebook, 1.7 million EA origins accounts, etc.”

In the past, DerpTrolling claimed responsibility for DDoS attacks on servers for World of Tanks, League of Legends, EVE Online, Runescape and EA.com.

World of Warcraft moves toward Warlords of Draenor with Patch 6.0.2

Patch 6.0.2

You won’t need to wait until next month to start experiencing Warlords of Draenor, as the expansion’s preparation patch released today with several new features.

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide will destroy World of Warcraft‘s famous Dark Portal landmark, prune away some class abilities, enact the talked-about “stat squish,” update most of the racial models with better visuals, put in a toybox, include a special revised version of the Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon, and add prologue quests in the Blasted Lands against the Iron Horde.

With the patch also comes a change in the game’s retail package. The Mists of Pandaria expansion is now bundled with with the rest of World of Warcraft and is on sale for $20.

WoW Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

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Remarkably, considering its continued success, World of Warcraft will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this November, having originally launched on November 23, 2004. To celebrate, Blizzard will be hosting a special in-game event and giving away a new pet.

Whether you’re interested in PvP or PvE content, there will be at least one thing for you to do during the event. PvE players at the level cap will be able to take part in a special 40-player Raid Finder version of the Molten Core raid. Completing the raid will get you a Core Hound mount and an accompanying achievement.

PvP players can relive the old Horde-versus-Alliance battles that used to take place around Tarren Mill and Southshore, where I can fondly remember being killed countless times. Blizzard will offer a “team deathmatch-style” Battleground that is “based on that timeless struggle.” Being a proper Battleground, there will actually be a victor determined this time around, whereas those old battles never really ended.

Finally, by logging in during the anniversary event, you’ll be able to get yourself the adorable Molten Corgi pictured to the right.

A date for when the event will run has not been announced. Blizzard describes this all as a “quick preview,” so it’s possible we haven’t heard about everything it will offer. We do know it’s not the only new content coming to WoW this year, as the game’s next expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, is scheduled for release this fall. Blizzard plans on unveiling the expansion’s cinematic video and release date at a special event next week.

As of June 30, WoW had 6.8 million subscribers, according to publisher Activision Blizzard. That’s a significant drop from where it was three months earlier, but it’s still a huge figure, and one likely to increase when Warlords of Draenor is released.

What are your fondest memories of the past decade of WoW?

Warlords of Draenor previews Frostfire Ridge

Frostfire Ridge

As the closed beta for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor rages on, Blizzard has a pair of previews up for one of the expansion’s zones: Frostfire Ridge.

Frostfire Ridge‘s biome features a fun combination of snow-covered wastes and towering volcanoes, so whether your tastes run hot or cold, this place will have you covered. The zone is what will eventually become the Blade’s Edge Mountains in Burning Crusade’s version of the zone, and here players will be helping Thrall’s daddy survive among a closing net of enemies.

Even among such hostile environs, players will find a fortress of solitude. The Horde garrison will be established in this zone, offering a base from which to build a sanctuary and an army.

World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 to Introduce New Pet Battle Scenario

WoW‘s Pokemon Pets get a new scenario - the Celestial Tournament. If you are like me and can’t get enough of the Pet Battles in World of Warcraft, the team at Blizzard hasn’t forgotten about you. Patch 5.4, which drops September 10 will include a new Pet scenario that takes place on the new Timeless Isle. The scenario will feel familiar to any Pokemon fans who battled their way through the Elite Four at the end of the game.

5.4′s new island plays host to a famed Pet Battle competition where players will be able to battle max-level (Pet level 25) NPCs in a tournament format. Called the Celestial Tournament, this new addition looks to be the most challenging Pet addition yet and “requires a skilled and varied roster of level-25 pets if you have any hope to survive.” Players may not heal or revive their pets during the tournament, so strategy is key. Winners will be rewarded so-called Celestial Coins, which can be (unsurprisingly) used to purchase special Celestial Pets. Rerunning the scenario will grant more coins that can in turn be used to buy different Celestial Pets. For my money, Pet Battles are the best addition to WoW, like, ever. Adding a new Pet Battle scenario is just the icing on top. Oh, and you get to battle a guy named Blingtron 4000, you know, just in case you needed more convincing to check out the Celestial Tournament.

Patch 5.4 PTR: Raid testing for today, August 27

If you’ve been wanting to test out heroic modes in the Siege of Orgrimmar before patch 5.4 hits live servers on September 10, now’s your chance. Today the PTR will be featuring 25-man heroic difficulty testing of three of the fights in the new raid. Fallen Protectors, Kor’kron Dark Shaman and General Nazgrim will all be available for testing over the course of the day tomorrow. Keep in mind that this is heroic difficulty, so expect the fights to look a little different than their normal or flex mode counterparts.

Remember that these PTR bosses are open for testing purposes — don’t forget to leave your feedback for the encounters in the appropriate threads on the official PTR forums. Don’t worry about bringing your own raid group — although it is helpful, it’s not required. If you need one, just hang around the raid entrance in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, as it’s likely there will be more than a few raid groups looking for people to fill spots. And if you’re worried about gear, don’t be — all gear will be scaled to the appropriate ilvl for the encounter.

The life and legacy of Lei Shen

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe.

Once upon a time, somewhere in the dawn of Azeroth’s history, before the Sundering split the world in two, there was a race of warlords called the mogu. Violent and cruel, the mogu fought relentlessly against everything — including each other. That is, until one day when one mogu sought out the history and secrets of his people’s past, discovering that they were creatures of far more potential, far more purpose than any had realized. It was a secret long forgotten, and the mighty Lei Shen not only uncovered it, but brought that secret back to his people.

For untold years after Lei Shen emerged from the depths of the Isle of Thunder, the mogu reigned supreme on Pandaria. They captured and enslaved the weaker races, forcing them into servitude. It was not until after the death of Lei Shen that the pandaren race finally rose up with the hozen, the jinyu, and even the grummles to disrupt and reduce the armies of the mogu to rubble, taking the continent of Pandaria back as their own and ruling in peace.

In the waning hours of Lei Shen’s inevitable downfall at the hands of Azeroth’s heroes, we’ll soon be leaving these relics of ages past behind, and instead focusing on the furture of our world. But the history of the mogu, the history of Lei Shen is not a tale we should soon forget.

Vengeance changes in patch 5.4

If you’re a tank in World of Warcraft you know what Vengeance is. Originally intended to allow tanks to keep up with increased DPS from improved gear with DPS stats on it while accumulating tanking gear that generally lacked those stats, it’s turned into a means for tanking players to do chart topping DPS on some pulls (especially AoE ones with multiple tanked mobs). There’s been a lot of discussion about what might happen with Vengeance in patch 5.4, and now we have our first look at what Blizzard is contemplating for the tanking specialization.

Vengeance has received several changes.

  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.

These changes are almost certainly aimed at reducing the very high DPS that can see on trash pulls and boss fights with a great many streaming adds (such as Tortos’ bats or the packs before Iron Qon) especially into the final tier of gear for Mists of Pandaria, which would inflate these numbers even more. Raids that use tanks with the highest DPS tanks will probably feel these changes the most. As always, this is the PTR, so if you have an opinion on these changes getting on the test servers and testing them out is useful so you can give proper feedback.